WHOIS review update – December 2016

The DNCL Board met in mid-December 2016 and gratefully acknowledged the 24 submissions received in the fourth WHOIS consultation. This feedback, together with comments made through each of the previous three rounds of consultation, formed the basis of a decision to draft a policy where only individual registrants’ name, email address and country are displayed. Telephone number and contact address information will be withheld.

Individual registrants will be eligible; not businesses, organisations or registrants who use their domain name for business / trade. A simple process will be put in place for registrants to declare they’re an individual and not using their domain name for business or trade. It’s likely that .nz registrars will ask registrants for that declaration.

There was some discussion around what constitutes an ‘individual’ registrant, and the DNCL office will do more work in coming up with an appropriate definition.  

Anybody will be able to apply for access to withheld information, but the threshold for release will be set high. We’ll be following the guiding principles of the Privacy Act when it comes to any release of information. We also plan to enter into Memorandums of Understanding with relevant organisations.

Transparency is important when it comes to any release of withheld information and so the MOUs will be made public on our website. We’ll publish FAQs on our website to explain how the MoUs work, and produce regular transparency reports so people can see how many requests for release of information are made, who has made them and how many are successful.

Importantly, we’ll notify an individual registrant if their withheld information is requested. Wherever practicable we’ll notify the registrant before any decision on the release of their withheld information is made. Less often, and depending on the context, for example if a warrant or Court order is received, notification will happen afterwards. 

Our next steps will involve preparing a draft policy and FAQs. This draft policy will be considered by the Board at their February 2017 meeting.  Following that it will be published for public comment on the policy.

More information about our WHOIS review can be found at https://dnc.org.nz/whois-review. If you have any questions about the review that aren't covered in the link above, we would like to hear from you. You can use this form to ask or email us at [email protected].  

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